Brad Bergensen started the season the way he finished – in good form. Bergensen allowed just one hit and no runs in two innings of work as the Orioles beat the Pirates 6-4 in the first real game of the Spring. While Bergensen was looking comfortable on the mound, many of the new birds got into the act with their bats. J.J. Hardy, in the lead-off position, got two hits. And Vlad Guerrero, in what we hope is the begining of much more to come, got two hits and the first Oriole RBI of the Spring.
But perhaps the “feel good” story of the day belonged to Nolan Reimold. Everyone knows the story by now… called up in 2009 and showed great promise (batting .279 with 15 home runs in 104 games). Then the ultimate sophomore slump – hitting just .207 in 29 games and spending most of the season trying to work things out in triple-A Norfolk. After the Orioles signed Guerrero, roster spots have become more scarce, and players like Reimold know that they have to come out strong this Spring, in order to make the team.
So, in his first at-bat of the game, Reimold hit a shot over the left-center field wall. One at-bat, one homerun. As for last year – that’s all in the past – at least as far as his manager is concerned.
“He knows that we’re kind of throwing out last year. We’re starting fresh,” said Buck Showalter.
I’m sure Reimold is happy to hear it. And, as long as his bat keeps speaking for him, we fans will be happy too.